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August 2015

RAND Gulf States Policy Institute

A bird flies over the Gulf of Mexico

Photo by Gary Cecchine

For months, our Gulf States have been overwhelmed by commentaries marking the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Some in our communities say they are tired of being asked to remember; they would rather look to the future instead of back to those dark days. Others choose to see the incredible spirit and resilience displayed during those days and in the recovery that followed—and continues. And of course, others still are simply weary of commentaries about the anniversary—resulting in commentaries about the commentaries.

So please forgive me for throwing another commentary into the fray, but I offer this message:
It's a sign of a resilient community that we continue these discussions among ourselves. Just as we offer valuable lessons to rest of the nation (we think of our friends affected by Superstorm Sandy), Gulf Coasters prove again and again that we've come a long way and we've learned a lot.

There's more to do.

The RAND Corporation is honored to help the region rebuild, grow, and work toward a better future. In 2005, RAND committed itself and its own funds to informing the kinds of public policy needed to build a better future for the Gulf region.

In 2015, we are still here among our community neighbors, participating in dialogues that affect the future of the coast, the safety and security of communities, and the well-being of families and workplaces. We do this through objective, evidence-based research and analysis. I invite you to review the positive-impact research that the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute has had for Gulf communities.

I encourage you to take this day to remember those lost, be proud of our accomplishments since then, and resolve to be prepared for the future. The people of the Gulf States are this region’s greatest, most resilient resource. I am proud to be your neighbor.

All the best,

Gary Cecchine

The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute provides objective analysis to federal, state, and local leaders in support of evidence-based policymaking and the well-being of individuals throughout the U.S. Gulf States region.

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